Advancing Technology at Comeragh College

A major boost to the practical department in Comeragh College has been the introduction of various computer numerical controlled or CNC machines, with the help of this technology, we can really help our students to develop the skills required to work in a world where CNC technology is at the centre of design and production.

In Comeragh College, we have invested in the very best technology, rivalling that of third level Universities to prepare our students to the very highest standard.

Comeragh College has looked at the changing world with regards to production and manufacturing and invested in CNC routers, milling machines, lathes, 3D printers and currently putting plans in place to include laser cutters into our impressive collection.

A CNC router can be used in the production of many different items, such as door carvings, interior and exterior decorations, wood panels, sign boards, wooden frames, mouldings, musical instruments, furniture, and so on.

In addition, CNC routers can help ensure part repeatability and project work can be carried out easily, accurately and at speed.

The CAM software used in our school makes the CAD drawing/design into a code called G-code. The CNC machine can then understand this code.

In short, CNC technology is not very complicated. It is a tool controlled by a computer. And this coding process is also being introduced to the students at Comeragh College so they will have the ability to possibly be programmers for this exciting new technology in the future.

A milling machine is a tool found primarily in the metalworking industry. In general, these machines are used to shape solid products by eliminating excess material in order to form a
finished product. Milling machines can be used for a variety of complicated cutting operations – from slot cutting, threading, and rabbeting to routing, planing, and drilling.

The students using these machines will be able to quickly process parts from materials that would be very difficult to work with without this technology.

Our (CNC) lathes are rapidly replacing the older production lathes (multispindle, etc.) due to their ease of setting, operation, repeatability and accuracy. It is now possible for our students to produce and indeed reproduce parts on these lathes with great speed and accuracy.

Parts that may have taken our students a couple of weeks to do can now be produced in a single day, this leaves the student with valuable time to put into his or her designing and planning.

One of the most exciting developments in the world of technology in the last few years is the process of 3D printing, we have seen in medicine how this process has been used to produce limbs and replacement organs, now the students in Comeragh College have the chance to be trained competently in using this technology.
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), refers to processes used to produce a three-dimensional object in which successive layers of material are formed under computer control to create
an object. Objects can be of almost any shape or geometry and are produced from digital
model data 3D model.

Our students can produce a 3D parametric model in solid works and print this out as a solid 3D object, this will be of massive benefit for our students looking to attain high marks for practical project work.

We are currently putting plans in place to incorporate laser cutters into the teaching and learning at Comeragh College.

Laser cutting is a technology that uses a laser to cut materials, the laser and CNC controls are used to direct the material or the laser beam generated.

A typical commercial laser for cutting materials would involve a motion control system to follow a CNC or G-code of the pattern to be cut onto the material.

The focused laser beam is directed at the material, which then either melts, burns, vaporises away, or is blown away by a jet of gas, leaving an edge with a high-quality surface finish. Intricate designs and patterns can be cut into material with ease.

These CNC tools will no doubt give the students at Comeragh College the upper hand when it
comes to competing in industries that are using these forms of technologies.

We look forward and will continue to adapt our teaching approaches for the benefit of our students.

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